The press tour for Olivia Wilde’s new film Don’t Worry Darling is really doing numbers, but most of the hype is because fans have been buzzing about alleged behind-the-scenes drama. From rumours about a feud between Wilde and star Florence Pugh to rumours about the state of the romantic relationship between Wilde and Harry Styles, we have a lot of reasons to be worried about the Don’t Worry Darling cast.
Over the weekend, the highly-anticipated film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, where the drama-fueled rumours went into overdrive. It all came to a head when people on the internet dissected the cast’s body language and claimed that Styles spat on co-star Chris Pine.
If you’re as invested in the Don’t Worry Darling drama as we’ve been, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a complete breakdown of the rumours surrounding the Don’t Worry Darling press tour.
Shia LaBeouf gets replaced by Harry Styles
To situate the drama right now, we need to step back a couple of years to the film’s early stages. When the Don’t Worry Darling cast was first announced in April of 2020, Florence Pugh was actually set to star alongside Shia LaBeouf.
“This cast is B A N A N A S [sic],” Wilde wrote of the news at the time. “To say that I’m honored/excited/ elated/s—– [sic] myself would be a massive understatement.
A few months later, in September 2020, Styles had been cast in the film to replace LaBeouf in a lead role. Upon the announcement, Deadine reported that LaBeouf left the film over a scheduling conflict.
In December of 2020, Variety detailed a different story that claimed Wilde had actually fired LaBeouf from the film amidst a lawsuit filed by his ex-girlfriend and beloved musician FKA twigs AKA Tahliah Debrett Barnett. Barnett had filed a lawsuit on December 11, 2020, accusing LaBeouf of sexually and physically assaulting her and knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted infection. After publicly denying the claims, LaBeouf eventually addressed the allegations on Jon Bernthal’s Real Ones podcast.
“I hurt that woman,” LaBeouf said. “And in the process of doing that, I hurt many other people, and many other people before that woman … I was a pleasure-seeking, selfish, self-centered, dishonest, inconsiderate, fearful human being.”
Variety also revealed that Don’t Worry Darling insiders claimed the actor “exhibited poor behaviour and his style clashed with the cast and crew, including Wilde, who ultimately fired him.”
Just a few weeks ago, Wilde released a public statement where she claimed to have fired LaBeouf because of his “combative energy.” The director also said she felt she had a need to “protect” Pugh and ensure she felt “safe” while filming.
“For our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive,” Wilde said just last month. “Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
You and I both know the reasons for my exit
LaBeouf remembered the events much differently, and sent Variety a set of receipts to back his claim that he’d chosen to leave the film of his own volition because of a lack of rehearsal time. The Even Stevens actor also claimed that Wilde had even tried to convince him to stay.
“You and I both know the reasons for my exit,” LaBeouf wrote in an email to Wilde. “I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
LaBeouf also included a video that Wilde allegedly sent him on August 19, 2020, in which she says she doesn’t want to “give up on this.”
“I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I, too, am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,” Wilde says in the clip. “You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us. If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace – and I respect your point of view, I respect hers – but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
Shortly after the video was leaked, Pugh confirmed that her only commitment during the Don’t Worry Darling press tour would be attending the premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles’ romantic relationship goes public
In early 2021, Wilde and Styles were photographed holding hands while at a wedding together, which had fans spreading dating rumours like wildfire. At the time, a source told PEOPLE that they were dating “for a few weeks” after they began filming together.
A source told Page Six that Wilde and Styles’ relationship was the main reason for her split with Jason Sudeikis, who she had been with for seven years.
“Jason and the kids visited Olivia on set at the beginning a few times, so I think this all made people feel a little uncomfortable, the source claimed.
In December of 2021, Wilde finally opened up about dating Harry Styles. At the time, they had been going strong for nearly a year.
“It’s obviously really tempting to correct a false narrative,” Wilde said of her love life. “But I think what you realize is that when you’re really happy, it doesn’t matter what strangers think about you. All that matters to you is what’s real, and what you love, and who you love.”
Fans have speculated that Wilde and Styles have since split after the former One Direction member appeared to avoid Wilde while taking group photos on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival.
Olivia Wilde gets served custody papers by Jason Sudeikis while promoting Don’t Worry Darling
In April, 2022, Wilde got served custody papers by her ex Jason Sudeikis while on stage discussing Don’t Worry Darling at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Wilde was sharing the first full trailer to the movie, when she was handed an envelope by an audience member marked “Personal and Confidential.”
The director quickly brushed it off during the event, but it was later revealed that the envelope contained custody papers from her famous ex.
Florence Pugh says the film shouldn’t be “reduced to your sex scenes”
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar last month, Pugh addressed fans’ response to the chemistry between herself and Styles in the trailers. The actor urged viewers to look beyond the intimate scenes and pay attention to the film as a whole.
“When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it,” Pugh said. “It’s not why I’m in this industry.”
Olivia Wilde addresses ‘clickbait’ rumours
In a Variety cover story, Wilde talked about how she decided to cast Pugh as the Don’t Worry Darling lead instead of playing the role herself, which she had initially intended to do in the film’s early stages. She even called Pugh “extraordinary” and “the most exciting young actress working today.”
Later in the interview, Wilde addressed rumours about a pay gap between the lead actors, saying claims that Styles was paid three times more than Pugh were “clickbait.”
“There has been a lot out there that I largely don’t pay attention to,” Wilde added. “But the absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me.”
Florence and Olivia have had several disagreements personally and professionally
The alleged feud between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh
In addition to a rumoured pay gap, fans had also been gossiping about a potential feud between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh.
The speculations began after Pugh didn’t share or react to a number of Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling Instagram posts.
In fact, a source even told Us Weekly that Wilde and Pugh butted heads several times “personally and professionally” while filming.
“Florence and Olivia have had several disagreements personally and professionally, that’s why Florence isn’t doing any press for the movie,” the source alleged.
In the Variety profile, Wilde didn’t address the rumours directly, but she did say that she believed “tabloid media is a tool to pit women against one another and to shame them.”
Florence Pugh doesn’t appear at a Don’t Worry Darling press event at the Venice Film Festival
Prior to the red carpet premiere of Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde and the rest of the cast attended a press conference, but lead Florence Pugh was notably missing from the event.
Harry Styles, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan joined Wilde on stage as they answered questions, until someone acknowledged the Little Women star’s absence toward the end of the conference.
“It’s a shame not to have Florence here,” a journalist said. “Can you just clear the air and address if there’s been a falling out there and if so why? Because it’s something people are discussing.”
Wilde then offered up a bunch of praise about Pugh, claiming she skipped out on the conference because she was filming Dune: Part Two in Budapest.
“Florence is a force and we are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight despite being in production on Dune,” Wilde said. “I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor, even for a day, so I’m very grateful to her, I’m grateful to [Dune director] Denis Villeneuve for helping us, and we’re really thrilled we get to celebrate her work tonight.”
However, Pugh appeared to arrive at the festival before the press event had ended, glamorously holding an Aperol Spritz in a carefree clip that went viral.
The Venice Film Festival red carpet drama
Pugh also stole the show on the red carpet, arriving in an absolutely stunning black Valentino couture gown. The actor’s stylist, Rebecca Corbin-Murray, appeared to offer up a tongue-in-cheek reference to Wilde’s leaked video, posting a sassy picture of Pugh sipping a drink and calling her “Miss Flo” in the caption.
While on the red carpet, Pugh playfully interacted with several cast members including Chan, Sydney Chandler, Nick Kroll and Pine. The latter two even snapped some heartwarming photos of Pugh as she posed for photographers.
The only two people Pugh reportedly didn’t interact with on the red carpet were none other than Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles. Even during the photo, Wilde, Styles and Pugh were all separated by supporting cast members.
That separation even continued during the film’s premiere, as Pine sat between Wilde and Styles and Chan sat between Styles and Pugh.
Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine.
Fans claim Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine in a viral video – a representative for Pine denies the rumours
In a viral video, Styles takes his seat beside Chris Pine as the Star Trek actor applauds the “As It Was” singer. Fans had already begun to speculate that Styles and Pine were in a spat, but who knew that the spat would involve… spit.
Several fans claimed that the viral clip depicts Styles spitting in Pine’s lap, as Pine seems to looks down in disbelieve and lets out a brief chuckle. During the entire video, Styles appears to avoid any eye contact with Pine or Wilde.
A representative for Pine denied the rumours in a statement to Variety, saying that it’s all “a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.”
“Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine,” the representative continues. “There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”
Harry Styles, on the other hand, is taking the #SpitGate rumours in good spirit, joking about the incident at his first concert since the Venice Film Festival. On September 7, the Harry’s House artist played a concert in New York City, where he said it was “wonderful” to be back in town for his “10th show at Madison Square Garden.”
“I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine,” Styles joked through laughter. “But fret not, we’re back!”
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Shia LaBeouf responds to Olivia Wilde — again
In a cover story for Vanity Fair, Wilde responded to LaBeouf’s claims that he quit the film and was not fired. “This issue is so much more nuanced than can be explained in private texts released out of context,” she said. “All I’ll say is he was replaced, and there was no going forward with him. I wish him the best in his recovery.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 8, LaBoeuf was asked about Wilde’s accounts of firing him and keeping Florence Pugh in the film. He responded and said: “It is what it is — every blessing to her and her film.”